Talking verses not Talking

Sometimes the best thing to do is talk about a problem. Recently I was upset about an issue and I knew if I tried to talk about it I would say things out of pain and anger that did not reflect useful communication. It would just be spouting, or ranting. Sometimes in anger you say things you regret. You regret saying them because the words aren't even true. Like saying "I hate you." When what you actually mean is something like "I hate what you just did, or something you didn't do, or I am really disliking your company right now." In a passion you blurt. Once you've said "I hate you," you can't take it back.

Sometimes the relationship is over for ever, sometimes it is damaged. So you don't talk. If your mate senses she is being iced out she may feel uncomfortable and press for the reason. If you really aren't ready to talk, this can be counterproductive. So if you mean to put off the conversation for later you should say so, and then stick to your word. Talk about the subject when you've mulled it over enough to make an intelligent request based on a correctable need. No one wants to hear undiluted whining. Even better though, then giving off a cold aura, is keeping your own counsel for real. If you own the problem is inside yourself you can keep it to yourself without coming off as cold.

Sometimes email is easier than face to face talking. You can touch base with people nominally, except there is no cadence, tone or facial expression. Be careful what you write. The word "re-sent" meaning you are sending something the second time, can be written "resent" and have a completely different meaning. Your reader might wonder, what is it you "resent?" There are animated icons you can use now, happy faces, sad faces called "emoticons." The fill a need to supplement our paltry vocabulary for feelings. How many people can honestly say how they feel about anything? We say we are happy to see dinner in front of us, and happy to see our team win, yet surely there is a huge difference in the two emotions.

Uncomfortable emotions have even less descriptive words. We can say we feel angry, frustrated, enraged, that's only three. Once we veer off in to speeches like "You hurt me," or "I felt disrespected" we are no longer describing feelings, we are describing thoughts and we are diagnosing other people. You may truly feel "sad" when left out of a situation, which is different from "disrespected." A decision to name it "disrespect" is the arrogant assumption of entering the other person's mind and deciding yourself what they meant. If you really want to solve a problem, non-provocative language is necessary.

You may get someone's attention by saying you feel disrespected. When I lived in the city I heard that complaint an awful lot from angry people who I probably didn't respect. I had no desire to rumble. Funny, I might have respected them more if they hadn't been in my face. Loudly complaining, or shaming someone into doing what you want is only a temporary fix. The person may act "respectful" or at least acceptable in your opinion, to your face, and that behavior will quickly disappear when you are not around. People resent being shamed. It is never a good way to communicate with other people.

My first husband did not like it when people broke their word. Who does? No one, right? For example, people would promise to sign up for his multi level marketing scheme and then the next thing you knew their checks had bounced, or the check was not in the mail. My ex-husband would hound them, quite upset, and remind them that they had "broken their word." Some people, in respond to the constant barrage would promise another check, although they rarely delivered.

I postulated to my ex-husband, "Maybe they don't have any money." As he didn't hear me, he would continue on about how they "broke their word." That didn't get him any more money, although he certainly felt upset for a long time. I think he would have felt less upset if he had tried to understand the people he was working with. He also could have used his energy finding new prospects in lieu of annoying people who did not have the funds to do the business he was promoting. It was almost as if the fun of shaming people was worth more to him than collecting new prospects. He spent such an inordinate amount of time rubbing their faces in it.

So people have different agendas when they talk, and definitely communicating is not always one of them. Another person I know fancies himself a "life coach." When he asked me why I didn't call I took the question at face value and answered truthfully, because I had been going through a difficult time and did not feel like talking. Then I was verbally ambushed. My life coaching friend asked with persistence, "What did I want?" and insinuated that there was some Holy Grail answer out there for me to reach if I would break down and admit it. He seemed unable to grasp the concept of silence.

Sometimes what person wants is a hike in the wilderness. A connection to nature is life affirming without words. A person can be quite refreshed by hearing the sound of the wind in the trees. The two strange women I work with are not talkative. Yet their silence is filled artificially. They spend their days hearing the radio, the TV, watching Netflix dvds and noises from the computer games they play. I don't think they recognize the sound of leaves falling. When you hear that sound on TV it doesn't sound the same. It sounds recorded and filtered, and of course when you are inside all the time you miss the smells of nature.